Softball: What to Watch For: Northwestern looks to continue win streak this weekend versus Nebraska


Daily file photo by Seeger Gray

Northwestern’s season drew to a close following game three of the Tuscaloosa Super Regional. The Wildcats fell short of returning to the Women’s College World Series.

Skye Swann, Assistant Sports Editor

After taking a 2-1 series win against Big Ten competitor Michigan last weekend, Northwestern will return to Sharon J. Drysdale Field this weekend to host Nebraska in its final homestand of the 2023 season.

The Wildcats (30-10, 15-2 Big Ten) picked up this year exactly where they finished in the 2022 campaign, making a statement of the program’s dominance in the conference. Currently holding the first-place standing in the Big Ten, NU’s final home series will be critical in separating the squad from the opposition in the conference and seeding for the Big Ten Tournament.

As the Cats prepare for their first meeting with the Cornhuskers this weekend, the team must be prepared for Nebraska’s established pitching rotation and infield players. Here are three things to look out for in NU’s weekend series.

  1. The Wildcats’ offensive dominance proven to trouble the competition

The Cats currently hold the No. 1 ranking in the Big Ten standings for a reason: Most competitors can’t silence the squad’s offense on the field. Averaging nine runs per game at home, NU’s versatility at the plate will be a critical component in the team’s success this weekend versus Nebraska.

Graduate student outfielder Skyler Shellmeyer leads the offense with a .342 batting average and 24 runs this season. Graduate student infielder Nikki Cuchran and senior outfielder Angela Zedak are shortly behind with batting averages of .333 and .304, respectively.

With these three leading the hitting rotation, the Cats pose an efficient offensive threat to the Cornhuskers’ field players.

  1. NU’s defensive presence can limit Nebraska’s opportunities

At home, the Cats have held their competition to an average of 3.1 runs per game, an advantage to the squad looking to finish the season at the top of the Big Ten. 

With graduate student pitcher Danielle Williams, graduate student catcher Jordyn Rudd and Zedak all serving as essential parts of NU’s solid defensive effort, these players must stay strong all weekend. 

However, if NU continues its hot streak on the offensive end, its defensive efforts may not even matter much in this weekend’s series.

  1. Cats to celebrate Senior Day during Nebraska series

The Cats will honor and celebrate their six seniors this Saturday before their matchup against the Cornhuskers tips off 

Zedak and seniors Sydney Supple, Emmie Farnam, Parker Huff, Kendall Peterson and Ashley Schultz will be honored for their careers with the NU program. The Cats will aim to make them proud this weekend.

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